Suu Kyi meets Tillerson, UN chief on Rohingya crisis

Manila: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi faced rising global pressure Tuesday to solve the crisis for her nation’s displaced Rohingya Muslim minority, meeting the UN chief and America’s top diplomat in the Philippines.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the Nobel laureate that hundreds of thousands of displaced Muslims who had fled to Bangladesh should be allowed to return to their homes in Myanmar.
“The Secretary-General highlighted that strengthened efforts to ensure humanitarian access, safe, dignified, voluntary and sustained returns, as well as true reconciliation between communities, would be essential,” a UN statement said, summarising comments to Suu Kyi.
Guterres’ comments came hours before Suu Kyi sat down with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Manila.
Washington has been cautious in its statements on the situation in Rakhine, and has avoided outright criticism of Suu Kyi.
Supporters say she must navigate a path between outrage abroad and popular feeling in a majority Buddhist country where most people believe the Rohingya are interlopers.
Canada’s Justin Trudeau said he had spoken to Myanmar’s de facto leader.
“I had an extended conversation with… Aung San Suu Kyi, about the plight of the Muslim refugees in Rakhine state,” he told a press conference.
“This is of tremendous concern to Canada and many, many other countries around the world.
“We are always looking at… how we can help, how we can move forward in a way that reduces violence, that emphasises the rule of law and that ensures protection for all citizens,” he said.
More than 600,000 Rohingya have flooded into Bangladesh since late August, and now live in the squalor of the world’s biggest refugee camp. — AFP